To be honest, you’re not alone.
This newsletter lark is a relatively new thing for me, and I thought I’d share the latest one with you because
From me to you at Christmastime.
It’s December already, where did the year go? Are you busy making plans for the holidays? I won’t keep you long.
Here in Spain, things are a little more relaxed. Okay, so isn’t everything? Christmas is not as commercialised as back in the UK; in fact when I first moved over here you couldn’t find Christmas decorations or a Santa’s Grotto anywhere. Of course, such tranquillity couldn’t last forever, and these days, at this time of year, Papá Noel is a more frequent sight. However, I’m delighted to say that the Spanish traditions are still the best part of Christmas for me.
Today, we’re off to the Plaza de la Constitución to see “Los Gigantes y Los Cabezudos”, aka the Parade of the Giants and the Bigheads. (Think “It’s a Knockout meets the Nativity … well, sort of) There are ten of these parades over the coming days and it gets crazier with each one.
Later in the week, the Belén will be installed in the Plaza. This is a Nativity scene on a grand scale – with moving parts and lights … I love it.(It’s the Dolls House fan in me – I can’t resist anything in miniature!) These photos are from last year … and it gets bigger and better every time.
Different, isn’t it? The detailing is amazing, and to walk around the whole scene takes some time and lots of elbow-dodging as people stop at whim to take photos. What do you think? Is there anything like this in your neck of the woods? There’s another reason why I love going to see these things … the Valor chocolate shop is right opposite the Plaza and they do the best, best, best hot chocolate on the planet.Trust me, I’ve sampled many – purely for research purposes, of course. (Valor is the Spanish equivalent of Cadbury – yep, just like my dogs, I can sniff out my favourite food blindfolded!)
So, apart from being rich in culture and tradition, December is when we down tools and spend more time seeing friends and family, exchanging gifts, eating too much, watching Christmas movies and partaking of a tipple or three with neighbours. But, in this Virtual world, we can’t do any of that, so I’m sending you some book recommendations that will entertain you when you can no longer get off the sofa (or you just want to bury your head in a good story and avoid talking to your family!)
My recommendations are all by authors whose books I’ve read myself, so I can guarantee you’ll enjoy these.
This first one is time-sensitive, as the offer expires on Dec 5th, but it’s such a great deal that I really wanted to include it. My good friend, Amy M. Reade, has written one of the books in this boxset of 12 Christmas-themed stories, and I’ve already put my order in.
Twelve never-before published Christmas-themed cosy mysteries from twelve best-selling authors:
Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Abby L. Vandiver
The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year by Judith Lucci
Stollen Time by Amy Vansant
Death by Rum Balls by Colleen Mooney
The Worst Noel by Amy M. Reade
The Case of the Curious Biscuit by Nell Goddin
Devil in a Black Suit by Colleen Helme
Frankincence, Gold and Murder by Kim Hunt Harris
A View to a Chill by Larissa Reinhart
Christmas Chocolate and Crimes by Cindy Bell
Home for the Holidays by Summer Prescott
Murder at the Holiday Bazaar by Kathryn Dionne
plus a bonus recipe book!
and, since all cosy mysteries have animals, ALL proceeds from the sale go to help animals in need! (That’s a “YES” from me every time)
Click here for The 12 Slays of Christmas and grab your 99p/99c copy (yep,12 books for less than a pound/dollar/euro! – a bargain indeed.)
Next up, is a short story by my fellow Brit and good buddy, DM Wolfenden – an author with a talent for gritty, psychological drama. I one-click most anything Dianne releases because I just know it’s going to be fab-u-lous! (Although, I do draw a line at her horror stories – jeez, she freaks me out with those!)
Take a look at Carly:
“Her cousin, Lisa, disappeared. Her family murdered in front of her. Held in prison for her kidnapper’s murder, she has to find a way to save Lisa.”
Read the reviews here and make up your own mind.
How about another short story? I’m sure this one by my dear friend, Cathy McGough, will resonate with many of you.
Such a cool title – and this is the first in a new series, so grab it now and stay ahead of the game – Book 2 isn’t far away and you wouldn’t want to be left behind.
“Christina Langdon works at a Call Centre. For fun she hits the gym! When the CEO of Goddess Creator Fashions invites her to a modelling bootcamp, Christina is intrigued.
Join Christina on her Goddess journey. Who knows, you might even be inspired to start one of your own!”
As someone who has read – and loved – this story, let me give you an inside tip – save this until after Christmas when you’ll get so much more out of it!
Buy your copy from Amazon UK here, or Amazon US
My final treat for you is from the lovely Iris Chacon. If you’re in need of some Winter sunshine, you should read Iris’s books; they all come with that “Sunshine State of mind” since Iris is from Florida, and truly is the most positive and sunny person ever.
Her latest book is Lou’s Tattoos, and is released today, December 1st – so another scoop 😉 If you fancy a fun-packed story, with real Floridian humour, then buckle up and read on:
“Tattooist Lourdes O’Malley idolises photog Galen Randall, but when he pursues her, her motorcycle gang fan/clients mistake Randall for a mob hitman trying to kill Lou. Galen Randall fears no elephant, python, rhino or lion through his camera lens, but he’s deathly afraid of airplanes. A random seat assignment pairs him with Lou O’Malley and puts him in the crosshairs of a clumsy, well-intentioned, ill-informed bevy of biker buffoons.”
You can find out more and pick up an early copy here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through my Christmas plans and are tempted by some of these books.
Let me just wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and I’ll see you again in the New Year.
Stay safe, warm and smiling!
By the way, here’s the link if you fancy joining my mailing list for more of the same.
You’d be most welcome – and there’ll be no spam – ever!!!
As always, thanks for reading 🙂